- Peace Garden: Thank you Keith

Thank you Keith

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Selected parts of the transcript:

Instead they bicker and buck-pass. They thwart private efforts, and jostle to claim credit for initiatives that go nowhere. They spend the money on irrelevant wars, and elaborate self-congratulations, and buying off columnists to write how good a job they’re doing — instead of doing any job at all.
Five years later, Mr. Bush, we are still fighting the terrorists on these streets. And look carefully, sir — on these 16 empty acres, the terrorists… are clearly, still winning. And, in a crime against every victim here and every patriotic sentiment you mouthed but did not enact, you have done nothing about it.
There is something worse still than this vast gaping hole in this city, and in the fabric of our nation. There is, its symbolism — of the promise unfulfilled, the urgent oath, reduced to lazy execution.
The only positive on 9/11 and the days and weeks that so slowly and painfully followed it was the unanimous humanity, here, and throughout the country. The government, the President in particular, was given every possible measure of support.
Those who did not belong to his party — tabled that.
Those who doubted the mechanics of his election — ignored that.
Those who wondered of his qualifications — forgot that.
History teaches us that nearly unanimous support of a government cannot be taken away from that government, by its critics. It can only be squandered by those who use it not to heal a nation’s wounds, but to take political advantage. Terrorists did not come and steal our newly-regained sense of being American first, and political, fiftieth. Nor did the Democrats. Nor did the media. Nor did the people.
The President — and those around him — did that.
They promised bi-partisanship, and then showed that, to them, "bi-partisanship" meant that their party would rule and the rest would have to follow or be branded, with ever-escalating hysteria, as morally or intellectually confused; as appeasers; as those who, in the Vice President’s words yesterday, "validate the strategy of the terrorists."
They promised protection, and then showed that to them "protection" meant going to war against a despot whose hand they had once shaken… a despot who we now learn from our own Senate Intelligence Committee, hated Al-Qaeda as much as we did.
The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war, on the false premise that it had ’something to do’ with 9/11, is "lying by implication."
The impolite phrase, is "impeachable offense."
Not once in now five years has this President ever offered to assume responsibility for the failures that led to this empty space… and to this, the current, curdled, version of our beloved country.
Still, there is a last snapping flame from a final candle of respect and fairness: even his most virulent critics have never suggested he alone bears the full brunt of the blame for 9/11. Half the time, in fact, this President has been so gently treated, that he has seemed not even to be the man most responsible — for anything — in his own administration.
Yet what is happening this very night? A mini-series, created, influenced — possibly financed by — the most radical and cold of domestic political Machiavellis, continues to be televised into our homes.
The documented truths of the last fifteen years are replaced by bald-faced lies; the talking points of the current regime parroted; the whole sorry story blurred by spin to make the party out of office seem vacillating and impotent, and the party in office seem like the only option.
How dare you, Mr. President, after taking cynical advantage of the unanimity and love, and transmuting it into fraudulent war and needless death, after monstrously transforming it into fear and suspicion and turning that fear into the campaign slogan of three elections -- how dare you or those around you ever "spin" 9/11.
Just as the terrorists have succeeded — are still succeeding — as long as there is no memorial and no construction here at Ground Zero, so too have they succeeded, and are still succeeding — as long as this government uses 9/11 as a wedge to pit Americans against Americans.
This is an odd point to cite a television program, especially one from March of 1960. But as Disney’s continuing sell-out of the truth (and this country) suggests, even television programs can be powerful things. Long ago, a series called "The Twilight Zone" broadcast a riveting episode entitled "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street."
In brief: a meteor sparks rumors of an invasion by extra-terrestrials disguised as humans. The electricity goes out. A neighbor pleads for calm. Suddenly his car — and only his car — starts. Someone suggests he must be the alien. Then another man’s lights go on. As charges and suspicion and panic overtake the street, guns are inevitably produced. An "alien" is shot but he turns out to be just another neighbor, returning from going for help.
The camera pulls back to a nearby hill, where two extra-terrestrials are seen manipulating a small device that can jam electricity. The veteran tells his novice that there’s no need to actually attack, that you just turn off a few of the human machines and "they pick the most dangerous enemy they can find, and it’s themselves."
And then, in perhaps his finest piece of writing, Rod Serling sums it up with words of remarkable prescience, given where we find ourselves tonight: "The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own — for the children and the children yet unborn."
When those who dissent are told time and time again — as we will be tonight by the President and tomorrow by his portable public chorus — that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of it, we are somehow un-American…
When we are scolded that if we merely question, we have "forgotten the lessons of 9/11"…
Look into this empty space behind me and the bi-partisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me:
Who has left this hole in the ground?
We have not forgotten, Mr. President.
You have.
May this country forgive you.
Thank you Keith.

All should watch this clip. All should watch the Twilight Zone episode mentioned (I have written about this episode before).

For this and more - I am not ready to forgive W, are you?

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